I’ve been having a love affair for years now. The salt, the spice, the flavor, the passion… And with such an intensity that it’s too much for me to resist. I love tortilla chips, and apparently they really love me. They love me so much that they keep enticing me even after I’ve told them that I’ve had plenty.
I think this love started back in high school. Pool parties at Ann Marie’s just weren’t complete without Cool Ranch Tortilla Chips and Diet Coke. And then it continued through the college years as I graduated to chips and salsa while looking googly-eyed across the table at Chili’s at my intended. And there was no turning back when a simple margarita, three baskets of the light, tasty, perfectly-salted, crispy wonders at Cozymel, and a walk home, hand-in-hand, would carry the two lovebirds through the most valuable cheap date ever imagined.
And then we found out about gluten.
Now I’m much pickier about my tortilla chips. No longer can I enjoy a basket of tortilla chips at any restaurant. In one out of 100 restaurants, there just might happen to be one that will have a dedicated gluten-free fryer — a fryer in which breaded chicken or other gluteny appetizers are not fried. That kind of restaurant just rekindles the forbidden love.
But the Husband and I usually enjoy our tortilla chips at home where I can read the labels. I love Garden of Eatin’s Blue Corn Tortilla Chips.
First of all, I can pronounce all THREE ingredients on the label. Secondly, they support a huge scoop of chunky salsa. Thirdly, they’re just out-of-this-world delicious.
Last week, while on vacation, I had the munchies and perused the pantry for something out of the ordinary, that I hadn’t brought, that just might happen to be gluten-free, that would quell a craving. That’s quite a tall order. After passing over the glutenous Oreos, 100 calorie snack packs, graham crackers, and Ritz crackers, my eyes were drawn to the Tortilla Chips. Not just any tortilla chips, but tortilla chips with a hint of lime. I just love the flavor of lime. Might they possibly be gluten-free? Even though I had to read through more ingredients than usual, I didn’t see any buzz words that would make me fear gluten.
And, later, I checked the website. TOSTITOS® Restaurant Style with a Hint of Lime Flavor Tortilla Chips ARE gluten-free. Check the list of FritoLay gluten-free products here. Just click on “Products Not Containing Gluten Ingredients” and see all of the PROCESSED foods that you can eat without the fear of gluten contamination.
They were tasty. They hit the spot. But they were definitely synthetic. But, hey, I was on vacation. A little indulgence on vacation is allowed, right?
Later that day, I took another look at the nutritional facts and absolutely FREAKED out. I had just eaten monosodium glutamate (MSG), and I can’t remember the last time I’d eaten such a heinous ingredient.
I’ve read that “MSG works by making your brain believe the food you are eating tastes good. This allows manufacturers to save money by using poor quality, nutrient deficient products.”
And anything that is designed to fool the brain for corporate reasons can NOT be good for your health.
I hate MSG. It made my mother sick every time she ate it in the 70’s and 80’s. We didn’t know why at the time. We just thought that Chinese food didn’t agree with her. It could have been the fact that Chinese food was laden with MSG, and that MSG was once made from wheat gluten, and she has since learned that she’s gluten intolerant.
Or it could be that MSG is just pure evil.
I hate even the THOUGHT of MSG. Even though it is currently “acceptable” for celiacs following a gluten-free diet, because it is now mostly made from bacterial fermentation, I just don’t trust it.
I hate the thought that I ingested MSG, even that once.
I hate the thought that MSG STILL EXISTS is our world of over-processed foods.
And in a moment of weakness, I hate that I skimmed right over the label and missed it.
Sometimes love can make you act before you think.
But I have to admit, that I really liked the taste of tortilla chips with lime flavor.
That’s what inspired my baking endeavor this evening. I love lime, I LOVE tortilla chips, and I love anything spicy.
The love affair continues.
Because I can now make my own tortilla chips any time I want.
Slice a package of corn tortillas into wedges and spread them out over several baking sheets. I sliced each tortilla into 6 pieces.
Brush grapeseed oil on the tortilla wedges, squeeze the juice of one lime over them, and season with a mixture of sea salt, pepper, chili powder, and cayenne pepper.
Flip the tortilla chips, repeat the oil brushing, lime drizzling, and seasoning sprinkling, and place the tray into an oven heated to 350. Cook for 7 minutes and flip. Then continue baking for 5-7 more minutes.
Cool and serve with any of the amazing Mexican meals that you can imagine. Or just scoop a chunky bit of salsa, and enjoy the love affair.
Spicy Tortilla Chips
- 1 tsp of sea salt
- 1 tsp of pepper
- 1/2 tsp of chili powder
- ¼ tsp of cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp of lime zest
- 1 package of corn tortillas
1. Slice a package of corn tortillas into 6 wedges and spread them out over several baking sheets.
2. Mix together sea salt, pepper, chili powder, and cayenne pepper.
3. Brush grapeseed oil on the tortilla wedges, squeeze the juice of one lime over them, and season with part of the spice mixture.
4. Flip the tortilla chips, repeat the oil brushing, lime drizzling, and seasoning sprinkling.
5. Place the tray into an oven heated to 350 and bake for 7 minutes.
6. Flip chips and continue baking for 5-7 more minutes.
7. Cool and serve with any of the amazing Mexican meals that you can imagine. Or just scoop a chunky bit of salsa, and enjoy the love affair.